Service in the spotlight: Norwich Connect – an holistic approach to addressing domestic abuse

Service in the spotlight: Norwich Connect – an holistic approach to addressing domestic abuse

1 in 7 children and young people have experienced domestic abuse (DA)*. It can leave psychological scars that last a lifetime – but most DA support is too little, and comes too late. 

Survivors say they want earlier intervention, more support for their children and help to recover and move on with their lives.

Norwich Connect was developed and funded by SafeLives to meet these needs. Support is tailored to individual families, looking at the victim, perpetrator and children in balance, and involves multiple co-ordinated agencies (including police, healthcare providers and social workers).

Spurgeons’ John Lee, delivers the programme. John says, ”Each of our staff had 26 days of intense training at the outset. We then set up seven best practice interventions – we use different combinations according to the specific needs of individual families, and the effectiveness is being continuously evaluated by three teams of academics so we can fine-tune the programme.”

”We’re also developing a team of volunteers, themselves survivors of DA who help deliver recovery programmes and support the survivors on them to move forward in life with confidence and resilience.”

”In addition to working directly with families, we’ve also trained 1,500 other professionals to take what we’ve learned into their own working environments. This includes how to help children stay safe and to cope with emotions and, in one of the newest areas of DA work, how to work with perpetrators to change their behaviour.”

95% of external professionals trained said they were feeling more confident to respond to domestic abuse victims following Norwich Connect training. 

88% of external staff members trained in Culture of Engagement stated that they felt more confident in working with domestic abuse perpetrators.

Survivors say the programme has changed their lives. Alice says, ”I have been able to recognise what’s happened to me and being able to move on, the groups have helped loads.” And Kate comments, ”It helped me and my son with our communication, particularly about his emotions; it has given him a safe space to express himself.”

*Radford, L. et al. (2011) Child abuse and neglect in the UK today, NSPCC

This year the Spurgeons’ Norwich Connect was shortlisted for the 2020 Children and Young People Now Awards in the Early Intervention category for its work providing assistance for individuals, couples and families affected by domestic abuse.

To learn more about the Norwich Connect Service or to make a referral, click here.